About this item

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Girls of Atomic City comes the fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore - the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.

Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York's best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House.

Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore - and secure the future of the region and her husband's legacy.

The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. The Last Castle is the unique American story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.



About the Author

Denise Kiernan

Denise Kiernan, author of The Last Castle (9/26/2017) , has been working as a writer for more than 20 years. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Ms. Magazine, Reader's Digest, Discover and many more publications. She has also worked in television, serving as head writer for ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" during its Emmy award-winning first season and has produced for media outlets such as ESPN and MSNBC. She has co-authored several popular history titles including Signing Their Lives Away, Signing Their Rights Away, and Stuff Every American Should Know. Her last book, The Girls of Atomic City, is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR Bestseller, and was named as one of Amazon's "Top 100 Best Books of 2013." It was also awarded the 2014 American Political Science Association Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book published in the United States on government, politics, or international affairs. Throughout her career, Kiernan has been a featured guest on many radio and television shows, including NPR's "Weekend Edition," PBS NewsHour, MSNBC Morning Joe and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

You can follow her work at:

Twitter: @DeniseKiernan
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DeniseKiernanAuthor
Website: www.denisekiernan.com
Instagram: @iamDeniseKiernan
Tumblr: denisekiernan.tumblr.com



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